Convergence of Productivity: Cross-National Studies and Historical Evidence

Overview

This comprehensive study is a collection of original articles that view the current state of knowledge of the convergence hypothesis. The hypothesis asserts that at least since the Second World War, and perhaps for a considerable period before that, the group of industrial countries was growing increasingly homogeneous in terms of levels of productivity, technology and per capita incomes. In addition, there was general catch up toward the leader, with gradual erosion of the gap between the leader country, the ...

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Overview

This comprehensive study is a collection of original articles that view the current state of knowledge of the convergence hypothesis. The hypothesis asserts that at least since the Second World War, and perhaps for a considerable period before that, the group of industrial countries was growing increasingly homogeneous in terms of levels of productivity, technology and per capita incomes. In addition, there was general catch up toward the leader, with gradual erosion of the gap between the leader country, the U.S., throughout most of the pertinent period, and that of the countries lagging most closely behind it.
The book examines patterns displayed by individual industries within countries as well as the aggregate economies, various influences that underlie the process of convergence that seems to have occurred, and the role that convergence has played and promises to play in the future of the newly industrialized nations and the less developed countries. Much of the analysis is set in a historical perspective, with particular attention paid to the record following World War II. The prestigious editors conclude that increasing productivity is the key to rising living standards in a globalized marketplace. Contributors include: Moses Abramovitz, Alice M. Amsden, Magnus Blomstrom, David Dollar, Takashi Hikino, Gregory Ingram, William Lazonick, Frank Lichtenberg, Robert E. Lipsey, Angus Maddison, Gavin Wright, and Mario Zejan.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A valuable contribution to our understanding of convergence as an empirical phenomenon."—Journal of Economic Literature

"It should stimulate further work on an important subject."—The Southern Economic Journal

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195083903
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 6/28/1994
  • Pages: 360
  • Lexile: 1560L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.06 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 0.91 (d)

Meet the Author

William J. Baumol is Professor of Economics at New York University. Richard R. Nelson is Professor of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University. Edward N. Wolff is Professor of Economics at New York University.

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Table of Contents

Contributors
Part I. General Patterns of Convergence
1. Introduction: The Convergence of Productivity, Its Significance, and Its Varied Connotations, William J. Baumol, Richard R. Nelson, and Edward N. Wolf
2. Explaining the Economic Performance of Nations, 1820-1989, Angus Maddison
3. Multivariate Growth Patterns: Contagion and Common Forces as Possible Sources of Convergence, William J. Baumol
4. Catch-up and Convergence in the Postwar Growth Boom and After, Moses Abramovitz
Part II. Technological Leadership
5. The Erosion of U.S. Technological Leadership as a Factor in Postwar Economic Convergence, Richard R. Nelson and Gavin Wright
6. Social Organization and Technological Leadership, William Lazonick
Part III. What Lies Behind Convergence?
7. Capital Intensity and TFP Convergence by Industry in Manufacturing, 1963-1985, David Dollar and Edward N. Wolff
8. Have International Differences in Educational Attainment Levels Narrowed?, Frank R. Lichtenberg
9. What Explains the Growth of Developing Contries?, Magnus Blomström, Robert E. Lipsey, and Mario Zejan
Part IV. The NICs and the LDCs
10. Multinational Corporations and Productivity Convergence in Mexico, Magnus Blomström and Edward N. Wolff
11. Staying Behind, Stumbling Back, Sneaking Up, Soaring Ahead: Late Industrialization in Historical Perspective, Takashi Hikino and Alice H. Amsden
12. Social Indicators and Productivity Convergence in Developing Countries, Gregory K. Ingram
Index

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